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Happily Ever Blind - Good Enough For..,

Happily Ever Blind
Good Enough For..,
by Dave Nowels at 10 April 2019, 3:31 PM

Guitarist John Emslie moved to Helsinki, Finland after years of playing with CHAOS THEORY in Melbourne, Australia. Emslie was seeking a new direction and path and hoped it would be found in his new home. After a stretch of mundane rent paying jobs and some unfulfilling music collaborations he met fellow Australian and drummer, John Lawless. They soon teamed with Finnish bassist Janne Mikkola and set out to create heavy music that originated from the heart rather than conforming to any preconceived notions or sub-genres. Thus, HAPPILY EVER BLIND was born.


Musically, HAPPILY EVER BLIND is hard to nail down. I think that’s how they want it to be, so mission accomplished. “Good Enough For..,” is the trio’s second EP release, which is the follow up to their debut  EP titled, “You Are Dead”. “Good Enough For..,” was my first exposure to “HAPPILY EVER BLIND”. Short of catching the band being played on college radio or perhaps at an indie festival of some kind, I doubt they’re a band I would have ever heard if it wasn’t for this review opportunity. The EP opens with “Bad Joke” and immediately calls to mind PRIMUS, and other mid to late 90’s bands of similar style. It’s a  mix of Hard Rock, Metal, Punk and even a smidgen of Funk.  There are random time changes, distortion, quirky vocals and inflections. Definitely not what one would hear on your typical AOR Heavy Rock stations. At 3:04, it’s a short track and over before one really has time to process it completely.

Next up is “You’re OK” which opens with a heavier edge and a more Heavy Rock styled riff holding the song together.  But once the vocals begin, it’s apparent that the same quirkiness is the common thread. The vocals are raw and unfiltered with lyrical substance centered around, “happy birthday to me”. Once again, it’s a short track and difficult to process in real time. “Postponing the Apocalypse” begins and really highlight the rhythm section of Mikkola and Lawless. The quirkiness continues, and I find myself distracted by the lyrics and Emslie’s vocals.

“Prisoner of the Clouds” was likely the highlight of the EP for me, but it completely centered around the musical approach. After four tracks of immature lyrical content and distancing vocals, I simply found myself checking out. Both “Prisoner of the Clouds” and the final track “Stop Motion Men” approached a more melodic feel, but much like the entire EP, remained inaccessible to me. I just never connected with the vision the band was presenting.

Songwriting: 3
Originality: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Bad Joke
2. You’re OK
3. Postponing the Apocalypse
4. Prisoner of the Clouds
5. Stop Motion Men
Lineup:
John Emslie – Guitar, Vocals
Janne Mikkola – Bass
John Lawless – Drums
Record Label: Realm Records
     


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